September 23rd 1968  (Age 53)

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Random Thots is brought to you by Graeme MacKay, Editorial Cartoonist at the Hamilton Spectator, in Hamilton, Ontario, Canada. Website:

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Thursday, June 12, 2008
Native Residential Schools Apology

My heart fell when I opened The Spec and saw Graeme Mackay's cartoon poking fun at Prime Minister Stephen Harper's apology to our aboriginal brothers and sisters for the crimes committed against so many in the residential schools scandal.

It was a good day to witness our elected leader state, publicly and without reservation, his regret for the harm caused. He stated loudly and clearly he was sorry. He spoke of the horrors and fear, the beatings and the abuse, and his revulsion that these horrid acts had been committed.

In a rare moment of truth, the opposition also spoke their apologies and from the floor of the Commons for the first time ever, aboriginal leaders and those representing the abused, accepted the apologies without condition.

I felt proud and yet still hopeful that many would see what happened, and though hurt and scarred for probably a lifetime, would know that this could and should be the first of many healing steps toward a peaceful and caring co-existence as true neighbours in this great country.

— Brenda Bianchi, Hamilton

* * * * *

The same day your sister paper, the Toronto Star, runs an editorial entitled Why the Apology Matters to Us All, in relation to the apology to be delivered by the Prime Minister for residential schools, your newspaper runs an editorial cartoon. I could use various adjectives to describe the cartoon ranging from cynical to disgusting, but the worst of it for all Canadians, both aboriginal and nonaboriginal, is your effort to trivialize the apology even before it is given. Shame on you.

Michael Dingwall, Ancaster

* * * * *

I agree, I was a bit harsh to Stephen Harper in that cartoon. (Actually, it was one of those days when I couldn't bear to look at the editorial page. ) My concern is that the Tories have been doing an awful lot of apologizing in the past couple of years for past sins and I have had some doubts about the sincerity. I suppose I assumed cynical Canadians would share my skepticism of a sincere apology from a Prime Minister who isn't one to exhibit compassion beyond Conservative policy statements and smacking down Opposition politicians. Yesterday's House of Commons ceremony proved to be above politics and may very well serve as a symbolic building block to reconciliation between native aboriginals and the rest of Canada.

Here's my less cynical view of the apology:

Posted at 10:34 am by Graeme_MacKay

The Monkey
June 12, 2008   12:38 PM PDT
Free the marijauna, I want some beer and I want everything that is hemp legalized, if we live in the free world why can't we have freedom to smoke up, laws suck. free us from the laws of the laws. You see as long as we are not hurting no one I should be able to walk around drunk smoke my pot hash oil and have bon fires in my yard and cruise the highways at my own speed limit. And drive drunk and party like a wild animal. All these laws about laws suck. Free beer free gass... Vote for The Monkey .... oh yes Mushrooms will be legal to.
April 6, 2011   01:17 AM PDT
Fantastic! I love this - very true.

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